The plans of a seaplane service which will run between Mumbai and Lonavla and touching Vidarbha finally took shape and a trial run of the same was done on November 15, 2014. A trial run was held between Mumbai and Navegaon Khairi dam and Khindsi Backwaters. This amphibious plane service is a part of the plan to connect Mumbai with several dams in state that have tourism potential.
Organizer and Project Coordinator of the sea-plane landing Amol Khante while speaking to Nagpur Today said that they have started this service to be run by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) through Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd. (Mehair). Though it is called a seaplane, it is an amphibious aircraft that can land on runways as well as on water.
He said that they have successfully carried out the landing in two spots one the Navegaon Khairi and the second at Khindsi Backwaters. They intend to start joy-ride services too at both these tourist destinations. He claimed that a one way fare is expected to be about Rs 3,000. This will help a tourist get the value for the money spent.
Navegaon Khairi surrounded by forests and MTDC expects good tourist traffic. Sources added that a one way fare is expected to be about Rs 3,000. This will help a tourist get the value for the money spent. However, joy-rides between Khindsi Backwaters to Navegaon Khairi will be anywhere between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500.
Amol Khante claimed that tourists alighting here would be able to visit Pench tiger reserve in Maharashtra and MP as well as heritage sites in nearby Ramtek. Navegaon Khairi being downstream of Totladoh reservoir usually is full even during summer.
He added that this sea-plane and the entire project are through the efforts of Ramtek MLA Ashish Jaiswal. Those present to witness the trial landings and take-off include MP Krupal Tumane, CEO and Founder of Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd. Sidharth Verma, First Lady Pilot of amphibious sea planes Pilot Priyanka Manuja, Co-pilots Captain Rahul and Captain Gaurav. The entire programme was compered by Ravindra Durugkar.